January 2007 I had a salesperson come to our home to give us an estimate on laminate flooring for our family room, Hallway and Bathroom. Her name is Marcia.
She started out by Showing me the different style of hardwood and laminate flooring telling me that the price was the same for either. Then she began to tell me that type of product used, the quality and warranty. On the laminate flooring, I was told that it is the top of the line, only sold through Empire, scratch resistant, waterproof and resistant, with a 25 year warranty.'water can stand on them for up to 5 days'. I shouldn't of believed her but wanted to see what the price would be for my living room and hallway. She promised she would give me the bottom line price for our products. She pumped up the company's reputation, their superior quality products and service. She proceeded to tell me that they NEVER used sub-contractors or day laborers and could have the floors in the next day.
I loved the look of this sample she had it was 4in wide planks that looked like they came out of an old library in europe somewhere and even had indents in the top as if they had stood the test of time and had scars to prove it. They were a deep dark warm color I picked for the living room and hallway. For the bathroom I picked a square laminate that was a sandy marble look with a hint of lavender to go in my small 5x5 guest bathroom. I told her my concerns about putting the laminate in the bathroom and if it would really hold up. She said jokingly that unless there was a flood the floors would be fine.
She also assured us that when they started the install, if we were unhappy with the product, to call them and they would make it right. That and the scratch resistant, water resistant qualities of the product. I have cats and two children who does spill things. She assured us it would be fine. That was the assurance I needed to agree to the sale.
She then measured the rooms and gave us our quote. $9000, 00 for the laminate. I was shocked to say the least!!! The price of the laminate was extremely high, in my opinion. She told me that with labor costs and the carpet removal then they have to move and replace our furniture it is a bit expensive. So I said fine I'll move the furniture and keep the carpet. She said that would bring it down to $6, 700.00. I told her that was out of my price range. However they had the financing options we were looking for, and as my family would be in town next week so them being able to install the product quickly was a benefit. We decided to only go with the laminate for now. We agreed on the pricing, and She checked with the office on the financing.
They came to Install the floor and non of them spoke a word of english and they all spelled bed. But I needed the flooring done ASAP. I had removed all the furniture the night before and even the toilet and sink. All they had to do was install the floors. It was fast and when they were done I inspected the bathroom. The trim wasn't on the wall behind the sink I pointed and asked why. He they don't have, someone will fix. That was the best english I could get out of him. He told me to sign the papers and that someone would come fix. So i signed then they left. I was already upset that I was spending so much money of floors that wouldn't be done when my family got here. Then I would have to find someone with a truck to help me take the carpet that was now taking up my garage space, to the dump.
As my friend and I was putting the furniture back in the couch scratched the floor 4 inches of a scratch. Now I was really pissed the floors weren't even an hour old and they got a scratch how would they hold up to my kids. Well a month later the classic glass of water on the dinner table spilled on the floor. I grabbed a towel and got it up right away but the trim got wet and started to swell looking like a swollen piece of cardbord with a sticker clinging to it. I went around inspecting the other parts of the floor and sure enough the floor in the bathroom was swelling and the trim was ruined even after all my best efforts of keeping it dry and clean. I followed all the instructions in that manual they gave me with the floors.
I called Empire to see if I was correctly quoted the correct price for the product I received. The woman said she didn't know she would have to forward that question to the area representatives that did the service. But she could make the appointment to have the floors fixed. A week later a english speaking guy came out to replace the pieces of the trim and floor then shook his head saying that the other crew never chalked the bathroom to seal it. I got a call from Jackie due to my concern about the pricing. She said that I was quoted the correct price for the floors and got a good deal.
I asked her if she felt good about them charging me $200 a box for cardboard with pictures of a tree glued on it. She said they used 30 boxes. I then asked her where. Then she asked if there was anything else I needed. I asked to speak to her manager. She said he was sitting behind her and wouldn't talk to me that I was quoted the correct price and I would get no refund on the product. Then I asked what about the warrenty? We can send someone out to fix the floors. So I asked Every 6 months? She said no after a year they fall under a different warrenty.
So I told her to make the appointment to come pick up the floors I don't want them and to get them out of my house. She said she could do that but I would get no refund. So I called the # on the tv asking for a number to the district office. Brian said that there isn't one and that if there was a problem with the floors that I would have to talk to the local people that put them in. I told him I wanted to speak to the person above him that I felt I was being lied to and I was riped off about the floors. He said he could not help me.
We all need to get together about this and START a class action Lawsuit about Empire Today. This is crazy that they can charge what ever they want for a crappy product then threaten us to keep it. Email me lets get this taken care of.